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burning man mommas

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
Im going this year, cant wait. lets share ideas and make sure we connect there what have you done etc. what do you do to prepare, to share with everyone etc. What must you bring or ? namaste!
post #2 of 87
I'm not planning on going this year, and I don't have any specific plans for going in the future, but it has been something DH and I have dreamed of experiencing someday.

I'm curious to hear more about it.
post #3 of 87
Not yet in the mama club... but definitely in the burner club. However I don't know if we'll make it this year. I've been going since 2000 although I skipped 2 years. Whatever you want to know, ask away! Although I can't give a ton of kid related advice...
post #4 of 87
been going to the Playa since 1998 and working there since 2000. It is really my other home in so many ways. The first and most important advice i give everyone is to g oto the http://burningman.com/ website and right at the top it has a bunk of great link to learn about life out there and what to bring and expect.

if you have kids and want to bring them it is a big thing to think about, it can go either way real fast with little ones. there is a village of just families (kidsville) that seems amazing and there is ways to do it right. that being said, most folks i know let that week be the kids week with the grandparents or something.

please read around the Burningman site and then feel free to ask any particular questions.
post #5 of 87
I've been many times, dh & I were married there in 2006!
I've been there pregnant, I've been there with my tween & infant.
I fully endorse this product!
post #6 of 87
could someone who has been there please tell me about the public nudity? I hear a lot about it, but part of me wonders if it is being blown out of proportion. Will I be uncomfortable with my 12 and 13 year olds? (Not sure I want to bring them in the first place, but I'm considering all options.)
post #7 of 87

Kids and Burningman

if you are at all bothered by public nudity or dont want to have your kids see that, burningman in not the place for you.
its not that there is tons of it, but it is also impossible to avoid in any way what so ever. and i personally, when talking about teenage kids, would be more attentive to the fact there is a lot of sexually charged atmosphere. (nudity is often not the issue and also not needed for something to be very sexual)

I think it is pretty respectful most of the time, but if you have a thin skin for that sort of stuff, it is not the place to be. Burningman is very much about no holds bar expressing what you are thinking and what you want to be, and peoples inner most thoughts are often not for the squeemish.

here is my personal thoughts about bringing kids, take it or leave it:

babies should not be there, and that would include any child that is not fully able to follow basic directions, talk about how they feel mentally and physically and deal with a pretty input overloaded and mentally stressful environment. (incidentally we have banned doges for the this same issue and our love and concern for them)

what this age is will be quite different for different folks. but small babies can not regulate their body temps properly and dehydration is too life threatening for them. is 3 old enough? for some yes, for others it may be 4 or older. I have met 4-6 year olds that thought the playa was the best place on earth and dealt with it very very well.

then there is a second age range that is a concern again and again this varies a lot! it is when they are old enough that they want to run around without you and too young to make smart safe choices in a very brutal and enticing "fend for yourself" party land. whether those choices are about if they have had enough water or rest or if they are about the smarts to not eat something that they shouldn't. and at this age sex and that "sexually charged atmosphere" also comes in to play.

i do not think i would bring the average pre teen or young teenager. on the safe end of the spectrum i would say even that the ages of 11 and 18 could be touchy depending on a lot of factors.

now all this being said, i include the disclaimer that this all depends hugely on what the parents are like and what type of burningman experience they want or are capable of having. if you bring a child, of any age, your whole burn is going to be about them, or it should be. they are not allowed there without you (or some guardian adult) and they WILL need you to help them understand and survive an incredible and incredibly hazardous wonderland.
normally fully functioning adults can loose it when exposed to all the playa has to offer, so make sure you are not going to be one of them (kinda hard to ever know if you haven't been there and even if you have) and make a thoughtful decision as to how you would deal with it if your child was one of those that do have a bad time (or an inappropriately good time!)

anyway that is a lot to digest, sorry if i was rambling, i have thought a lot about it and have been around a both very good family experiences there and very very bad ones. as a veteran participant that is working on starting my family i have thought a lot on what choices i will make. i do what my kids to go there some day, but within the ages i outlined above, probably for a just a few years or maybe just once and probably between the ages of 5 and 10. outside of those years, i will do what many do, consider it a rare adult holiday treat and give my wonderful mom and my kids a week with each other.
post #8 of 87
Originally Posted by •Adorkable• View Post
all depends hugely on what the parents are like and what type of burningman experience they want or are capable of having. if you bring a child, of any age, your whole burn is going to be about them, or it should be.
Definitely This.

When we take the kids, we only have one "night out" each while the other is with the kids. The entire rest of the week, day and night, is spent tending, hydrating, feeding, monitoring, educating, freshening, consoling, playing with, showing things to, keeping sand out of, sun off of, machinery away from the kids. It's more work than even being a SAHM is, for sure. That's what burning man is, it intensifies EVERYTHING. So if you want the most intense experience you ever had WITH YOUR KIDS, then bring them, but remember it will be intense for them too. For me, it really showed me what is important in my life; that is, my kids & experiencing an interesting and diverse life with them, giving them alternative cultures to choose from instead of the dominant one, creativity with few limits, survival skills... I had already done the burning man party tour without kids, so I knew what that was about. If you are there for the legendary "burning man party", DON'T BRING THE KIDS.

It really does depend on the kids & family. We live in the desert and camp in the desert all the time, so that part was easy. We are at home in the desert. It's the huge-ness and busy-ness of it all that I think you really need to be on your toes to keep track of your kids safely AND enjoy burning man at the same time. A challenge, to be sure, but know that it can be done.

It's not a place for an occasional or reluctant camper, unless they have a babysitter, which goes against one of the things burning man is about anyway: self-reliance. It really is an extreme place, in every way. If you like to push yourself, you will find something at BM. It isn't for everyone, but it's hard for me not to HIGHLY ENDORSE THIS PRODUCT!
post #9 of 87
quick add:
we also don't get to see nearly as much stuff there by keeping the kids comfortable. We don't venture out nearly as often, nearly as far, or for nearly as long, so you really "miss" a lot. We spent a lot of time at "home" at burning man, socializing with neighbors, to be sure, but be sure you like your neighbors! (best you can-don't camp next to the orgy camp, maybe camp in or near kidsville)
Your children will see nudity. They will not (most likely) see people "doing it" on the street. They MIGHT see art, or drama DEPICTING people "doing it". It can be very confusing for children. It can be very confusing for adults.
post #10 of 87
One of these years, I will find myself on the Playa. Until then, I will lurk on this thread.
post #11 of 87
Me too.
post #12 of 87
Lurking as well. Somehow this just really and fully entered my consciousness, and I have been reading a ton about it. I know that for me, and my anxiety, this won't happen with my kiddo until she is much older - say 10 years from now. It is interesting to think about going with just DH prior to that. Lot os money and planning though, so for now, I will learn.
post #13 of 87
Burner Momma-to-be here! I totally agree with salt_phoenix and adorkable - very well said!

I love burning man, everything it has to offer. But my partner and I will either be leaving kiddo with the grandparents, or spending the entire burn showing them what this crazy world really has to offer. I can really see the benefits in taking a five year old (depending on physical, mental, emotional capabilities) to the burn, but the oldest I would bring is 11. I just think that the art, the people, the experience would be so powerful and moving, and I would love to share that with my little one.

One of my most favorite camp mates, known as Reno Mom for her ability to produce fresh grapes & watermelon late in the week and having EVERY supply you could ever think of possibly needing, brings her teens to burning man. Her daughter seems to get caught up in the sexuality and her son in the art. go figure. Her kids, her choices! My teens... will come to burning man when they can afford to foot their own bill to get there, hahaha.

I have to ask though, does anyone here have real experience taking children to burning man?? What is the decompression like for them?
post #14 of 87
Bumping! Anyone headed out this year?

This is definitely not on the agenda for us this year or for a few years to come, but I'm wondering if anyone's about to make the trek with kids.
post #15 of 87
Im a burner mama! Im definitely taking the kiddos when they get a little older. No big burn for me this year but Im a member of several regional groups. Headed out to a regional in KS in 2 weeks (sans kids).

Anyone a member of any regional burner groups?

post #16 of 87
I'm not going to the burn this year, either. Too pregnant! DP and I are aiming for 2012, but we'll just have to play it by ear. It is kind of weird not going this year, this is the first time I've missed a burn since I started going. Watching all my friends pack up and leave and all the virgins get excited about their new adventure is so wonderful! I am so excited at the potential these last few days before gates open hold for them.

I belong to my Regional Group. We had our regional burn in June, and I'll probably be going to the Decompression if it happens before I get too pregnant!
post #17 of 87
Which of the regional Burns are easier to do with kids? We're thinking about doing one of these next year (2011). I think our family would do better with a less harsh environment, and the cheaper price and shorter time make it easier to take the risk of having to bail because of the kids more palatable, too.
post #18 of 87
Probably whichever is closest to you would be a good choice? I'm not familiar with the Chicago area burns but a good start would be to get on the email list(s) for your area, meet some locals with kids and go from there.

I would start here:

Sorry if you've already done this, often people don't know how to get connected with the Burner community in their area. Some people go to the big burn first and then meet other burners close to home, other people start by coming out to potlucks and such and gradually work their way up to going to events.
post #19 of 87

I agree with you on all the points your made

post #20 of 87

Kidsville is great. I do not bring my kids so I stay the hell away from it except when I visit my friends. It is a very different experience if you bring kids. Not better or worse just different

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